World N0.3 Naomi Osaka will kick-start her 2021 season at the Gippsland Trophy in Melbourne. With the WTA 500 event already underway, Osaka will aim to gain match fitness ahead of the 2021 Australian Open. Seeded No.2 on the star-studded lineup at the Gippsland Trophy, Osaka has received a first-round bye.
Naomi Osaka plans another long break
Apparently, Osaka will take a long break post the Australian Open and will play her next tournament at the Miami Open, which starts on March 23. The Japanese won’t compete at the WTA Dubai Championships, which commences on March 8 and instead plans on taking a month-long break.
In the truncated 2020 season, Osaka played only four tournaments during the entire year. Since clinching her third Grand Slam title at the 2020 US Open, Osaka has been out of action for the last four months.
Strikingly, Osaka continues to follow the schedule of the 23-time Grand Slam champion, Serena Williams. While Williams has understandably tweaked her schedule over the last few years in order to perpetuate her already 25-year long career, the 23-year-old Osaka doesn’t have to cope with the same circumstances.
Being in the prime of her career, Naomi Osaka should compete at more tournaments and leverage her sublime form by adding more WTA titles to her name.
Recently, Osaka played against Williams in a women’s exhibition match at the ‘Day at the Drive’ event in Adelaide. The duo enthralled the fans as Williams won the match in the super tie-break of the third set.
With just a week left for the Australian Open, Osaka will aim to win her second title at Melbourne Park, having won her first in 2019. On the other hand, Williams will eye an elusive 24th Grand Slam title, which she has been chasing since 2017. The American has unfortunately lost her last four Grand Slam final appearances.